For today’s installment of remake cinema I’ve decided to do a side-by-side of Prom Night. We’ll feature the original starring the queen of scream Jamie Lee Curtis and the new one starring the lovely Brittany Snow. I decided to take a look at the new one first this time, just to make sure that I haven’t disliked the newer movies because I saw them after. I will start out by saying right off the bat you can tell that these movies follow a completely different story line. The only similarity is that they both focus on prom night, as if the title didn’t already give that away!
In the new Prom Night we start by seeing a 3-year old flash back of Donna (played by Snow) returning home. She walks into what appears to be an empty house, but she is later greeted by the dead body of her younger brother and screaming coming from her mom down the hall. She quickly hides under the bed as her mom and the killer enter the room. The killer is actually one of Donna’s high school professors who has a HUGE crush on her! (creepy) Donna’s mom is killed right in front of her but Donna is not found. The killer is arrested and sent to an insane asylum.
We cut to Donna present day and what we had just seen is her explaining to a psychiatrist what happened and that her bad dreams about the incident are returning. After some boring back-story we cut to a hotel, and what appears to be the most elaborate prom ever. The “bitch” of the school, who is also up for queen, had her daddy spare no expense to make this the best “90210” prom of all time. But things aren’t all “Peach Pit” and cream… the teacher has escaped from a mental hospital and is on his way to find Donna!
As with most films horror films about obsession, the killer must take out his victim’s friends… and the first are Claire and her boyfriend who are the first to return to the suite that Donna and her friends rented. Lisa, another friend, is on her way back up to the room when she runs into the killer in the elevator, but she is stumped as to how she recognizes him since he used the clever disguise of shaving his head and beard. Of course she realizes who the person is just as her and her boyfriend are about to spice up the movie and give it some action! And then Lisa is killed in the workout room trying to warn Donna. The cops finally decide that it is time to evacuate the hotel but Donna has forgotten something in the room. She soon meets her stalker again, and has to make a daring escape from the room. The cops think they have the killer trapped, but he has managed to sneak out and track Donna down at the house of her Aunt and Uncle with whom she is staying. The few inept police officers watching Donna meet their maker. There is one last struggle and the killer is finally finished off just as he is about to score!
The original movie starts out extremely different, but we also see a flashback from 6 years before. 5 children, Wendy, Jude, Kelly, Nick and Robin are playing a typical game of hide-n-seek they called “the killers are coming”. (I remember it fondly) Things start to get a little creepy though as Robin is the last one to be found and the other kids scare the bejesus out of her (and me!) and she falls from a 3 story window onto some glass and dies! Nice kids huh?!?
We cut to 6 years later, the other 4 kids start to receive strange phone calls from someone anonymous reminding them of what happened, and telling them to basically watch their back at the prom! Meanwhile the crazed sex offender who was originally blamed for Robin’s murder has escaped… OH NO! We find out that Robin had an older sister Kim (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and brother Alex. They feel somewhat responsible for her death because they let her go play on her own.
Prom night comes and it is one hell of a rockin’ party! There is a prom night theme song that Kim and her boyfriend Nick (one of the kids) shake their booties to! It is just after that where we get our first revenge casualty, Kelly. She gets her throat slit after her boyfriend says put out or get out in the locker room, and she decides wrong. The next killing happens because Jude makes the classic horror movie mistake and loses her virginity to some guy named Slick. But in all fairness he does have a bitchin’ van, and he took her to “lookout bluff”. While Jude and Slick profess their love, the killer breaks into the van and stabs Jude. Slick does his best Chuck Norris and boots the killer in the face and tries to escape. But the killer is able to force Slick’s van off the bluff… too bad cause his van was bad ass! Third on the list is Wendy, the bitch of the group. She is basically chased down and stabbed, no big deal since no one likes her anyways. That leaves Nick, who is just about to be crowned king. But in a bizarre twist of fate Wendy’s boyfriend Lou knocks out Nick and steals his crown. The killer, thinking Nick will be wearing the crown, beheads Lou and his big greaser melon goes tumbling down the runway for all the students to see! It is then that Nick wakes up and he along with Kim duke it out with the killer. After a quick struggle we find out that the killer is actually… Alex, Robin and Kim’s brother who actually witnessed the killing 6 years before!
I was a little surprised to see how different these 2 movies were. The beginning of the new one is a major plot change from the old movie. To be honest it was a little creepy. But in this day and age a late 20-something teacher trying to “get it on” with a 15 year old student isn’t that far-fetched. The old movie is certainly more of the classic revenge movie with a little twist at the end. As far as the killing scenes and gore, both movies were extremely tame, the new one barely showed any blood. Both movies really just seemed like teenage angst movies gone wrong. They were barely scary, and not gross in any way. Neither story was all that great, but the new one should have gone right to DVD. I don’t want to make a bold statement for all remakes, but even watching the new one first didn’t make me like it more. Definitely skip the new one unless you are fascinated by Brittany Snow in a prom dress. The old one might be worth watching on cable just to see that Lesley Nielsen has done other movies besides Naked Gun. I give the new Prom Night 1.5 creepy cradle robbing stars and the old movie 2 rolling Lou heads out of 5.